New research published this week suggests that consumers are taking more interest in the ethical practices of the companies they buy from.
Based on 2,000 respondents, the survey by MediaCom found that 63% believe brands have a responsibility to give back to society, while half said they are willing to pay more for a brand that supports a cause close to their hearts.
All things considered, more organisations – including those operating within the flexible workspace industry – should take heed of this advice and consider stepping up their social responsibilities.
But that’s not to say workspace operators aren’t already doing just that.
Far from it, in fact.
UBC, which operates 8 workspaces in the UK, has been supporting children’s charity KidsOut for over a year and is continuing its drive with a new fundraising target in 2017.
This year, the company is aiming for a total of £3,500 by combining its regular business centre fundraisers with a 24-hour relay race in July – a gruelling event that sees a team of UBC clients and staff running relay-style around a 9km course over a period of 24 hours.
Sport plays a big part in many fundraising events, but it’s certainly not the only option.
BE Offices operates a “Charity Days” scheme, during which all personnel are given three days per year paid leave to work for a charity of their choice. Most recently, BE employees volunteered at a secondary school careers fair and at the Greenwich Meantime Plant Nursery.
Employees at Dublin workspace brand, Glandore, teamed up as part of Docklands Volunteer Day to help de-litter the city’s waterways, while nationwide company BizSpace recently added to its long list of social initiatives by sponsoring their local Under 5s rugby team.
Another nationwide operator, Basepoint, takes a very different approach to social responsibility.
Basepoint is owned by The ACT Foundation, a UK grant making charity, and therefore each Basepoint Centre is dedicated to fundraising for a selected local charity which is subsequently fund-matched by The ACT Foundation, up to a maximum of £10,000.
As well as match funding, each Basepoint Centre carries out their own on-site fundraising activities.
Social responsibility is expected at larger companies, and flexible workspace operators – particularly those that form part of larger commercial property corporations – are required to pay particular attention to sustainability and the local environment.
London-based Workspace Group Plc has a dedicated sustainability division that is “embedded” throughout their business and forms part of its charity and community strategy.
Bruntwood, which operates over 145 properties across the UK and operates a portfolio of serviced offices and coworking space in regional cities, also incorporates a programme designed to “make sure we’re supporting change” with regard to charities and the communities they operate in.
One such example is the refurbishment of a local primary school situated close to their Alderley Park property. During renovation works of No.15 Alderley Park, Bruntwood donated “more than 90 hours of work and materials from the No.15 construction project … to revamp the school.”
And of course it’s not just workspaces that are supporting social causes, but clients and members too.
One such example comes from Citibase and their client Brewgooder, who in early 2016, launched a campaign to provide clean water for 1,000,000 people by donating 100% of the profits from their special craft beer to clean water charities.
These are just a small handful of examples, yet the flexible workspace industry is jam-packed with stories of businesses and people coming together to create positive change for vital causes.
More than just ‘doing their bit’, social responsibility in its many different forms is an opportunity for flexible workspace operators to engage with their clients and members, build community through common goals, inspire their employees and most importantly of all, help out a good cause.
“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference” – Kathy Calvin, President of the United Nations Foundation
If you have a story to share, whether it’s a fundraising campaign in your workspace or a member who is working to create positive social change, ping us an email to let us know or tag Allwork on Twitter or Facebook.